Giant Chainfern potted in 5-1-1 (pics)

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aApril 2, 2012

Good morning!

Well, three years later and I finally up-potted my Chainfern - Woodwardia fimbriata.

This time, I didn't remove any roots (nor did I have to dig out rocks or styrofoam peanuts,

as I had to last time!). I simply roughed up the old mix along the sides and edges, and then

filled around the root-mass with fresh mix. The timing was perfect, as it rained for two days

after the potting and really saturated the mix.

The Mix:

This time, I made a mix approximating Al's 5-1-1 by using Fir bark as my base, very coarse Perlite,

a small fraction of the last of my Turface, and finally a small fraction of Foxfarm's Ocean Forest soil

as my "peat" ingredient. I included a reduced amount of Dolomitic Lime and Osmocote.

The following two Threads show previous pictures of work that I've done with this wonderful fern.

Al's 5-1-1 for ferns.....thumbs up!

Giant Chainfern - Spring 2009 re-pot (pics)

First, a before pic of the Chainfern in the old container:

Fronds unfurling and telling me to hurry up and re-pot!

The new container - a whiskey half-barrel that cost me $30:

Drilled some drainage holes with the olâ bit and brace:

Dumped my ingredients into a wheelbarrow:

Mixed the ingredients thoroughly (pic doesn't show the Ocean Forest added yet):

Overturned some 1-gallon pots in the bottom of the barrel to help reduce the volume:

Filled the barrel to the proper height, slipped the fern out of its former container, and plopped it down. Roughed the sides, and filled:


Lastly, I added a layer of Fir bark as mulch (and to help hide the Perlite):


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looking great!
The half-barrel got more expensive, right? Is it repti-bark you are using?
How much did you reduce Dolomitic lime & why?
(I did follow your previous threads, don't recall if you mention this.)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 2:03PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'm not sure if the barrels are more expensive. This was the lowest price I could find.
I am not using Repti-Bark. I use Greenall brand Micro Bark, which is a very nice Fir bark product.
I used less Dolomitic Lime because this is a fern, and I assumed it would prefer the acidic mix.
Plus, I use Foliage Pro 9-3-6, a complete fertilizer.

Thanks for following along! I appreciate it!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Thank you for taking time to answer...should have known about ferns preference for more acidic mix.
(I haven't been able to get FP 9-3-6 in Ontario so far, so using MG as Al recommended. And I remember that you paid some $13 for barrel before - could have been smaller thou?)

I really appreciate few of the forum members posting pictorial of their repotting/prunning and so on. Easier to remember & hopefully understand than just reading (at least for me!)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 3:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey! Thanks!

Yeah, the previous container is much smaller! It cost $13 at Target...
so it was over-priced as well ;-)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:37PM
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DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

HAHA Josh! Is that Excalibur in your 5-1-1!?!?!? You must be lecturing on Malory in your English classes....LOL!

I have to also say that your choice of drills is equally as awesome!!

You rule dude.

Nice work on the fern my man, impressive as ever. I'm so freakin jealous of your bark every time I see a picure of it....BAH...Left Coasters get all the breaks!!

Smart move on the flipped over pots too!

Talk soon!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:56PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hooo boy - with all that room, it's really going to put on some growth this year! Cool pics, Josh!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Gentlemen! ;-)

Yessir, Al, we're going to see just how big this thing can get! I'll update, of course.
How would you go about fertilizing this fern? How many gallons of solution, how often?
Any tips appreciated!

PJ, we are indeed blessed with some fine bark, aren't we? hahaha ;-)
That little dagger helps me open those stubborn bags of bark. Just one good slice.....
I thought the flipped pots made good use of all the extras I have. Besides, that barrel took
a lot of mix!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 1:13AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I am growing the same fern, but mine is like all dense. I don't know if I should thin it out? Yours has spaces between.
It is bigger now then when I took this, but I do see some browning on the leaves. Thanks for the photos of the potting, step by step.

Here is a link that might be useful: my fern

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:53AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

My pleasure, Tropical!

These ferns divide their own crowns as they grow, spreading out in different directions.
Also, I have already pruned out the fronds that were crispy brown and dead from Winter.
The colder foothill temps lead to a sparse, haggard looking fern during the early Spring.
But once the season is underway, the new growth will come in much more lush and compact.

Rina, about the difference in container sizes...if you look at the 8th pic,
you can see the root-mass of the fern sitting on top of the mix in the new container.
That root-mass is the exact size of the previous container, and it shows how much smaller
it was! I'm hoping for maximum growth! ;-)


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:55PM
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that is a big difference; you are giving it lots of room. It will have plenty of room for few offsprings.
I love to see ferns early in spring, when the fronds are just unfurling...I read that it is an integral symbol in Maori art, carving and tattoos. Also, it is used in a stylised form as the logo of Air New Zealand and as an iconic symbol of New Zealand flora...and more.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 7:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Rina, that's very interesting!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 5:54AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello! Time for an update.
The chainfern is putting out the largest growth yet and should be spectacular in another month. I've fertilized twice so far, every two weeks on average.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Absolutely beautiful pal!!! You gave me a great idea and now it's time to act on it. GReat job:-0)

Looks so tropical like..


    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, thanks, Mike!
I hope you're taking some pics for me ;-)
Did you notice the Star Jasmine blooming in the background.....
smells so nice on these warm nights!


    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:38AM
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